The 5 Worst Disasters in Benefit Concert History


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3. The Concert for Bangladesh Forgets Its Tax-Exempt Status

The first charity concert on a major scale was the brainchild of George Harrison, who decided to stage a two-day festival in order to raise funds and awareness for Bangladeshi refugees fleeing the devastation of the 1970 Bhola cyclone and atrocities happening in the Bangladeshi Liberation War.

It was Harrison's first solo appearance live since quitting the Beatles, and he brought Ringo Starr along to help him ease into it. Bob Dylan participated, as did Eric Clapton. It was a supergroup of rock legends all coming together to help out some people in desperate need, and their largesse was rewarded to the tune of more than $12 million after ticket sales and proceeds from both the album and subsequent documentary film were all tallied.

Here's the problem: No one had ever really done anything like this before, and Harrison basically got to make all the mistakes everyone else would later avoid. His biggest one was that he planned to give the money to UNICEF but neglected to register it as such, which kept the funds tied up in tax hell for most of a decade.

Finally, it all got cleared up, and sales from the DVD of the concert still go to UNICEF, but Harrison made it a point to warn people who followed in his footsteps. People like Bob Geldof, and speaking of...


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